February 25, 2017

How To Live Rich

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“Some People Are So Poor, All They Have Is Money”

Let me begin by saying, we do not have to be financially rich to live rich.

Adversely, being financially rich does not necessarily guarantee you a rich life.

What does “rich” mean to you?

Would you consider yourself rich if you were working 85 hours per week, earning $1,000,000 per year?

How about if you worked 10 hours per week and made $100,000 per year?

Which of those scenarios is “richer” to you?

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I have had the very fortunate opportunity to radically improve my life over the last 10 years. During that time, I have masterminded and interviewed some of the most brilliant minds that have not only made small fortunes, but truly created a lifestyle worth living…

Being in real estate and living in Ft Lauderdale, I meet people daily that “have it all”. Gorgeous homes, multiple cars, traveling the world, trophy wife, beautiful kids…

The downside is, they have all these “riches” of life and are not experiencing the “richness of life”.

• The gorgeous home has become the new norm. Always needing something and have not had a pool party in years. Thanksgiving is just shy of WWII.
• They rush through life and rarely smile and say “Man Am I Blessed To Hop Into Some Beautiful British Stitched Leather Seats”
• They travel the world and never stop for sight seeing cause they are on “busi-ness”
• The trophy wife is a distant soul that has lost the spark for her husband
• The kids have zero idea what love really is and think it comes in a package from dad that says “Im home, heres your present”.

I bleed for these people because I know no one wants to live that way. The great challenge is they have created so much momentum rolling that ball in the direction that they can not slow it down and change its course.

Im guilty of having it all…and being emotionally bankrupt

So How do You Live Rich if You Don’t Have a Ton of Expendable Income?

Before you begin to answer that, it does us a great justice to consider this…

How do you live rich if you DO have the expendable income?

It goes to question that if those with plenty of money have access to everything they desire and aren’t living rich (whats the purpose of having it if you are not grateful and enjoying it), then is it very possible for the everyday man to enjoy a slice of those riches, at a fraction of the cost for the everyday person who works hard and would feel ultimately rewarded for having access to an oceanfront home a few times per year to spend with his family or to take his spouse on the vacation of a lifetime. Even to keep a luxury or sports car in his garage for when he wants to feel young or powerful.

Part of Living Rich is enjoying the value of nice things, without having to overpay the cost  Tweet This!

Lets also be clear about this as well…

Being rich is being rich in your mind.

Don’t ever let your happiness rest in someone else’s mind  Tweet This!

Let your riches be meaningful to you and its likely to become a blessing to others

Here are some of the ways I have been able to live rich

Being Healthy: My appreciation for health has only been to the extent of my education. However, health is my leading priority in my life now by default. Simple steps such as eliminating (ok, lets be real…reducing) sugar and adding intense exercise. Just the thought of how much sickness I can save myself if I reduce sugar (and processed foods) and began finding SOME way to do intense, low impact activity was enough to convict me that I needed to begin. Gradually it has increased. I hated working out just as much as the next guy…However, I know that if I am going to prolong my legacy and “be there” for my family, I could begin doing some form of intense activity that over time would increase the “richness” of my life. So now, I cycle roughly 60 miles per week, run a few 5k runs per year, am highly active and adventurous, I swim in the ocean often, take a lot of cold showers to shock my body, workout around my pool and have minimized the intake of flours, sugars, too much alcohol and snacking. Part of this was realizing that much of my snacking was done mindlessly. I have rerouted my mind to go for water every-time I want to reach for a snack. I also realized that the reason I have lazy mornings is because its starts the night before. Although I am not a big alcohol drinker, I woke up for years with “hangovers” from the foods I was consuming almost subconsciously. Sluggishness from carbs. Actual back pain from my body not being able to break down so much red meat. Again, its only effective to how educated I am and I am my own university slowly building my library. Summed up, health equals wealth so one of the ways we can live rich is to practice healthy habits of limiting sugar, processed food and carbs mixed with a low impact, intense activity that gets your heart rate moving. Don’t push so fast and increase the misery of what you are not liking. That’s not getting rich. Your better off cycling 10 miles or walking 5 miles instead of running 1 mile if running sucks that much. Make sure you are increasing your activity as your body responds and grows toward more mobility.

Nice Clothing: Having a healthy mind and body should also reflect in your appearance. NOT for boasting reasons but for setting the premise that you respect yourself. This will allow others to respect you as well. Nice clothing can be an investment. There is a large difference between upscale department stores and many of today’s department stores. Believe me, shopping next to the ultra wealthy is not un affordable. Just like any other store, they also feature “last seasons” lineup if you are concerned price is too much. Having a few nice tailored shirts, quality breathable polos, custom cuff links made, a few pairs of dark tailored jeans and certainly a dark pin stripped suit is a necessity of any respectable gentlemen. The great benefit of buying upscale clothing is that it truly does last longer. Like anything, know your brands and the quality they provide. As much as I can tell the difference between upscale and normal dept store clothing, I also agree with my wife that most of it is all made in one factory in one of three foreign countries where buyer agent representatives go and buy the lineups and have their tags stitched into it. Those will do from time to time, but search for quality clothing and you can keep it for the better part of your life. Go to all the dept stores and search high and low for the new you. Try on some items you may think are not your personality. Start at whatever budget you must, but by adding to this, you are investing in yourself and your actions will compound over your life. You will see the different responses from people. Dressing sharp increases your appearance, confidence and social respect. Good things happen when you have those qualities. Those are qualities of people who live rich lives.

P.S. This does not mean you go and buy the latest LV or Gucci brand clothing. It must be said that just because it has an expensive price tag, does not mean it is quality.

Driving Nice Cars: Driving a nice car is one of the greatest blessings of living rich. You spend a lot of time driving in your car and your vehicle is a statement of who you are. I have always driven nice cars because I understood how to leverage financing, buy rite, with good miles and usually sell for a profit after driving for a while. I did this before I started in real estate and to be honest, I became lazy when I began buying property. Rather than continue my car hustlin hobby, I just went out, found what I liked and settled for that for the next few years. Even still I drove an Infiniti Q45 and Lexus LS 430 for years and was able to focus on real estate. Now I am back in the game of buying luxury cars, driving it for a few months and then selling for a break even or a profit. One of the secrets of driving a nice car, even like my Inifinit and Lexus is to buy them after they lose the majority of their depreciation. Now if you really want to get the best value, find out your specific cars depreciation curve and look for one that is coming up or just past the major curve of its biggest loss. This is usually within the first 3-5 years of the vehicles lifespan Example, Brand new, my Lexus is $57,900 off the lot. If you wait twelve months of it sitting and being the “old model” (that usually only changes design every 8-10 years) it usually drops $10,000+. If someone buys it brand new, they suffer the largest loss. The expendable cash guys can afford to lose that. Where we want to pick up is when they “must have a new model” and are ready to take a significant loss on the original sale price and turn it in for that new one. Usually within 3-5 years on most luxury cars. When I bought my car, it was 6 years old and the model was still the same look at the new ones driving on the streets. I negotiated it from a deal that had it for $24,900 and bought it for $20,000. No one can tell if its the brand new model or the “old model”. However, we both sit at the stop light with the same statement of who we are…I just have $37,000 more dollars. Let me ask you who is rich?

A few ways that you can have a luxury or sports car is to understand vehicle values so you are not the one taking the huge loss on the cars value. If you buy the right car at the right time and dont put any miles, its common for rare and collectibles to begin going up in value. Focus on buying your luxury or sports car once it has suffered its largest hit for value loss and then find some extended term financing auto loans that will give you a lower payment for a longer period of time. Again, this is leverage perspective to understand that you CAN own and enjoy your $80,000 Z06 Corvette if you buy it right with financing that wont make you work 20 extra hours per week to cover the expense. Ask me how I drive a Bentley GT for the same monthly expense as what my Lexus cost and when I sell this Bentley in a few months Ill recoup all if not more than my payments back. Again, cause I bought it right, with low miles with unique financing that keeps my monthly out of pocket low. The Bentley will end up costing me less or potentially paying me to drive than the Lexus.

Living In A Nice Home: This is an interesting topic as I am a full time real estate buyer and have been for the last 10+ years. My opinion and you can do your own research, yet I am rather convinced that owning a home (in todays market for sure) is much more of an expense and risk than leasing. I justify that because of a few reasons. Number one is the net cost to live. My home I lease in Florida costs around $400,000. To own this home, with taxes and insurance would cost me around $2800 per month. PLUS when the $3400 ac goes out, $18,000 roof is needed, $3000 pool refinishing or $3000 pool heater and spa have issues, its a direct expense to the owner. I lease the same home for $2200 and treat it like its my own home and enjoy the “richness” of having the amenities that matter most to us without the huge overhead. A simple, updated, pool home oasis, close to the beach, in a desirable part of town, with kids for our son to play and an outdoor paradise we can enjoy at its fullest because we are not trading time for money to afford an overly large home that would keep us separated, cost a lot of money, require a lot of upkeep and rarely be used. I also get bored easily and we dont mind relocating to another “richer” home we may find at a great value that is in proximity to our sons private school.

HOWEVER… When our market does drop home values, I will be ready to locate and capture our dream properties which will be an oceanfront condo that will serve as my office and our weekend getaway as well as the waterfront lot with ocean access where we will build a home new from scratch. This is my version of maintaining “richness” as I maximize my living experience now, keep cashflow low while enjoying life and then capturing my desired lot and condo at the perfect price that will confidently justify a total renovation/new home that is worry free for 10 more years….at which the market will be likely increased again and I will have equity, which equals options.

I must share this little secret of how I have secretly found hidden gem homes in gorgeous waterfront communities where although I may be one of the smallest houses on the block, my neighborhood is filled with million dollar homes. I am able to live amongst the “richness” of perhaps more established, wealthier people and enjoy everything just as they are. The walks, parks, ocean, hyacinth and jasmine blooming everywhere. So I have always driven the streets and kind of “internet stalked” neighborhoods where I envisioned myself living. Places where most think they cannot live. I would find homes that are for sale but have not sold yet. Or I would find a nice looking home and see if they lived there as their primary home. Or perhaps find a vacant home that is listed for sale on line. The longer its been available the better. Then I would mail or email the owner or Realtor and include a incredibly written message about who I am, what I do, my family, our finances, our great credit, no pets, non smokers, great references, son going to private schools and include a photo of my family mentioning we are looking to rent a home in the neighborhood and wanted to know if they would consider leasing since the home has not sold. Use the words LEASE not rent. It just carries different weight. Especially to me because I am a landlord and own properties in these sort of neighborhoods. THOSE properties are my true investments. The tenants pay those off…not me. I have moved into several ocean front communities where most people think it is expensive to live and found hidden gems and negotiated incredible terms because of the adverse creativity.

At no time did I say this wont require work. Part of living rich is working. However, work harder on yourself than you do your job.

Solid Moral Character: This is where the quote above comes from. Its the very sadness of life that people set out with good intentions and over time, the wallows of life topple over and we wake up one day with just enough realization that we are not on the path where we intended. Many times we just move on with our head down. Some of us are fortunate enough to have a wake up call before the wake up event happens. This is perhaps the toughest area to live rich as we can be our own worst enemies. I know I am the creator of my own sabotage at times.

In Dr Suess book Oh The Places Youll Go, he talks about being in a slump is one of the toughest places to pull yourself out of in life. Yeah….Im wondering why Seuss was telling children about slumps as well yet I know I picked up on that wisdom.

Solid moral character is chiseled from adversity. When you resist the urge to give into temptation or participate in something unruly, you are chiseling a solid moral character. Having a solid moral character is actually my direct link to “richness”. I have tested my own life and can absolutely testify that depositing $50,000 into my bank account on one deal, did zero for my personal excitement meter. I have also seen my own spirits rise out of a depression because I was feeding the homeless. Money is not linked to happiness and it is my deepest wish that you come to experience this yourself (this is good….means your making a ton of money and then you realize….wait…this didnt help anything I feel on the inside). Solid moral character is also using that deposit to improve my life not be lazy and waste my days away. It is to be used as a springboard to greater, “richer” things. Build your solid moral character. Its likely to be one of your greatest assets.

An Incredible Nights Sleep: I may take this for granted a little and I am pretty certain that having always been a sound solid sleeper is closely linked to my moral character. Tough to sleep when demons are haunting you, people are after you and you don’t own up to your commitments. Although a solid moral character is an aid to a great nights sleep, what I mean is a good mattress. For somewhere we will spend 1/3 of our lives, investing in a good mattress is a worthy investment. There is no right answer here but to find the mattress that serves you and your spouse best for the greatest affordable amount. Ever since I switched out my Beauty rest for a foam mattress, I actually sleep a little less, yet more solid. I have also became a fan of using a sleep cycle app. This allows me to recharge with only around of 6 hours of sleep. It also is designed to wake up before I begin phasing into my 7th hour which is too much. Lastly, I hate pills of any sort. They mess up your chemical balance. There are some melatonin pills that will not leave you with a “hangover” if you need to use them for a solid nights sleep. My caveat is not to become dependent on them. Keep a clean conscious, invest in a nice mattress, learn your sleep cycles and you will be sleeping better than most rich men in your community that are up all night with worry, stress, anxiety, overwhelm and many other ailments that keep us awake at night.

Having Rich Relationships: Relationships are something we are wired at our core to fulfill. We need human interaction like never before. Although we are all very busy in life and do not have time to manage several relationships, we can create a small circle of close, deeply connected friends who enrich our lives beyond what money ever could. I don’t have to juggle several “needy” people who are a constant drag. Those who have close personal relationships are people who build me up and make me a better person. Friends from my mens ministry that meet like casual friends and hold each other to a personal accountability. Friends like those who cycle along side me, run next to me and participate in obstacle course runs. They build me up and contribute to my life. Whenever we are together we are living life richly. There are kids laughing, good food being cooked, pools splashing, deep conversations being had, go pro footage rolling, living it up at the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show. All things simple and extreme fall under the category for us. One day a friend and I swam across the Boca Channel. Not a huge deal but it definitely stirred my blood jumping into 50+ foot deep water of insane currents, where boats are zipping in and out of the inlet, possible sharks and critters swimming all around. Even though it was only one minute, it was 60 seconds of life at its fullest. My heart was racing from the intense fight of the current and the overcoming of something 99% of people will never do in their lifetime. These sort of relationships keep me out of the rut of conformity. Making sure I own up to my marriage and parenting responsibilities. Keeping me sharp and ready for life. Always pushing me harder than I would ever willingly push myself. The goal is to pan for gold. I am always panning for golden relationships and you don’t find them in every stream and you have to pan through a lot of muck, sand and gravel for a few nuggets. Although its worth it.
There are some key principles to Living Rich that if followed simply will allow you to live a full, grateful life that is filled with rich experiences. Define what living rich is to you.

I have a contractor who lives behind me and he jams with his band 5 days out of the week from 3 oclock in the afternoon until 10 at night. Lavon is the coolest guy you’ll ever meet. He works hard in life, but just enough where he can live comfortable and spend the majority of his time doing what he loves which is jamming it out.

Doing What Matters: The great thing about being rich is its your definition of what that means. The woman whose goal is to change the life of children through teaching and wakes up every day with conviction that today is the greatest day to be alive is living rich. Living Rich (as we know) actually has little to do with money. One of the richest people I know is a homeless man at the corner of 8 Mile and Woodward in Detroit. You will never pull up to his corner and not see him with a smile. One look at his circumstances and the physical condition of his health and you would wonder how he is still smiling. Not to mention he is homeless. William has a rich spirit and he was the first person to ever tell me that some people are so poor all they have is money. Every day he sits at his corner and reads his Bible to his fellow homeless pals, plays his guitar and gets everyone singing. He could easily be boozing it up, harassing people yet what matters is still having hope and purpose. THATS living rich.

I hope you gained a little bit of insight into what Living Rich truly means. It is not what we are pitched day in and day out. Often, its the direct opposite.

The whole reason I wrote this article was to get you engaged into a life of Richness.

Take a few moments and tell me how you “live rich”. I have not covered every topic, but those listed above have opened up my life to a whole new world of richness by enjoying these very “things” to the fullest.

Leave your comments and stories below. I manage my own blog and respond personally to everyone.

Thank you for reading and keep on living rich.

 

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